Friday, February 6, 2009

The National Bird Dog Championship

The National Bird Dog Championship begins on Monday. Braces will be drawn on Saturday evening. Forty-one dogs will compete in three hour braces for the bragging rights of the most prestigious field trial event in North America.

Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee has been the home of this event for many years. The Ames Plantation website lists nominated dogs and will cover the action with brace by brace reporting and photos of each day's running.

These dogs are amazing athletes. They run for three hours in weather that is often freezing cold and rainy, and are called upon to handle a twisting course across the Ames Plantation's six thousand acres. Half of the dogs will not finish the three hours - they will be picked up by their handlers for infractions of bird dog manners, or voluntarily if they simply aren't getting it done on that day. But every dog there is a tremendous bird dog who won at least two qualifying trials to be nominated.

The best dog will be named National Champion. I am rooting for Tommy's sire and Ted's half brother, Jetsetter, who has had some major wins in the past two years, and is one of only two setters nominated to compete this year. The last time a setter won the National Championship was 1970, when Johnny Crockett walked away with the top spot. There is a substantial jackpot established to reward the next winning effort at the National by a setter.


Andrew Campbell said...

Now that really is a Bird-dog Championship!... three hours on the ground in mid-February. That'd be something to see for sure.

We'll be thinking positive thoughts for Jetsetter.


Dale Hernden said...

I sure wish I could be there to ride every brace. It is indeed the ultimate test.

Mntmaniac said...

I'm sure you've seen the braces...what are the chances that the only two Setters end up in the same brace together?

On another note...are you familiar with Skydancer Timley Tales?